Study proves humans love dogs more than humans

Study proves humans love dogs more than humans

I mean, is this at all surprising to read? Whether you are a dog owner or not, it is not difficult to believe that humans tend to be more empathetic toward animals than they are toward other humans.

A recent study was carried out and published in a journal called Society and Animals. The aim of the study was to find out if humans sympathize more with news of other humans who suffer from abuse or of dogs that endure abuse.

The participants were undergraduate students of Northeastern University.

Research method

For the study, participants were presented with a fake report of an attack involving a baseball bat. The report was the same for all the participants, but the victim differed. The victim was either an adult, an infant, a puppy or an adult dog.

The results indicated the participants showed the most signs of distress when the victim was an infant. A very close second was the adult dog. Although empathized with, the human adult elicited the least amount of sympathy.

Why do we feel more for dogs?

Affectionately referred to by their owners as “fur babies,” dogs are so much more than merely pets. They become a treasured member of a family.

This relationship is often not fully understood until a puppy is brought into a home. Regardless, even those without dogs can understand the appeal of having them, especially as they are often taken to schools and hospitals for stress relief and therapy.

The comedian, Chelsea Handler, speaks openly about legitimizing feeling for a dog the way you would for a child.

Being loved unconditionally

Not only do dogs love unconditionally, but they are also fiercely loyal. People, on the other hand? That can be debated.

What possibly draws people to empathize wholeheartedly with dogs is their loyalty and the affection they have for their owners. They start imitating the humans as well, down to little quirks. We also see this in the news and depicted in films.

A higher level of vulnerability

A reason the participants felt more concern for the infant and dogs may be the vulnerability factor.

Adults, we assume, have the capability of protecting themselves and removing themselves from vulnerable situations. Dogs, however, once domesticated, rely on their humans for everything, similar to children’s behavior with their parents. This helplessness makes us feel strongly for them.


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